At least 11 persons were killed after an overcrowded boat capsized in Hirakud Dam reservoir on Sunday in Odisha’s Sambalpur district, about 350 km from here.
Another nine persons were said to be missing in the reservoir. Police, fire service and Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force personnel rescued about 30 persons from the reservoir.
“Death of 10 persons has been confirmed. Another 10 persons are still missing. We are ascertaining the number of persons on the boat from Sambalpur Lion’s Club, members of which, had met the tragic accident,” Special Relief Commissioner P. K. Mohapatra had told The Hindu on the phone earlier on Sunday.
The boat sank while members of Sambalpur Lion’s Club were returning after attending a picnic at Chhapabada on the other side of reservoir. The club members were returning in two boats.
According to some members, one mechanised boat developed snag in the middle of reservoir and soon water started entering the boat. Passengers tried to drain out the water, but their efforts went in vain.
As soon as the boat started sinking, club members on the other boat made calls calls to police stations. Fire service personnel, local boatmen and ODRAF team were immediately pressed into service.
The boat was said to have about 90 passengers.